NEP celebrates the final round of another successful season of Extreme E in Uruguay
The final round of Extreme E Season 2 took place in Punta del Este for the Uruguay Natural Energy X Prix. NEP, Aurora and Extreme E provided the technical solution for this exciting and innovative series, which operate in remote locations around the world, whilst reducing the environmental impact across the entire production. This off-road racing series is designed to draw attention to climate change, using sustainable, all-electric vehicles. Collaborating with various charities and NGO’s, Extreme E dedicates each race event to a specific climate issue, with the aim to raise awareness of its environmental impact.
Season 2 saw Extreme E travel to three continents, first in Neom, Saudi Arabia to highlight desertification and the loss of biodiversity. Next was a double-header, with races two and three in Sardinia Italy, where the region has suffered from heatwaves and wildfires due to rising temperatures. The penultimate race of the season was based in Antofagasta, Chile. Extreme E looked to highlight the need for development of the country’s mining infrastructure to use more sustainable and inclusive methods of production.
Extreme E returned to the southern hemisphere for the final race of Season 2 - the Uruguay Natural Energy X Prix. The championship promotes the switch to electric vehicles and decarbonising transport as Uruguay is one of the leading countries in renewable energy. The country currently generates a daily average of 98% of all electricity from renewable sources, primarily wind and hydropower and is one of the most electrified countries in the hemisphere.
NEP UK, NEP Connect and NEP The Netherlands created a complete end-to-end, sustainable production in all five locations. This included custom IP and RF flypacks designed by NEP, with specialised RF cameras and distribution, remote production solutions, and crewing. As well as providing satellite, fibre connectivity, edit, and ingest solutions.
Utilising specially developed, ruggedised IP and RF solutions, full race and onboard coverage were maintained with minimal cable runs to provide reliable coverage from the cars and RF nodes. NEP UK and Aurora were able to connect each race location directly to their centralized production facility in London, via diverse satellite paths provided by NEP Connect. This is one of the few productions in the world that can operate remotely over satellite. With over 30 different sources available in London, most of the production team was able to handle record, replay, editing, audio mixing, vision mixing and playout without having to travel to the event location.
NEP Netherlands developed a suite of innovative specialty Augmented Reality (AR), Graphics (GFX) utilising drone technology, race and car data, RF feeds and live mapping to generate AR course overlays and AR statistics. These were managed in real time by their AR/GFX team at the production hub in Hilversum, Netherlands, which also reduced the need for travel. They were further made available to the production team in London using the high bandwidth connectivity between the production hub and Hilversum, producing amazing results and providing viewers with a completely unique experience.
The use of drones avoids fixed-wing or helicopter use, with the alternatives to the drone having a far higher environmental impact, contributing to the significant effort to deliver net-zero broadcast productions. The MT UHD used on the drones consumes less power, whilst being able to operate at both 2GHz and 7GHz PSME bands. The flexibility of the drones, given their size and weight means that these can be deployed all over the world – a perfect piece of kit for a racing series of this kind. We are proud to have worked with Aurora Worldwide and Extreme E to ensure that all our teams and productions continue to deliver sustainable events, recognised by the One Planet Award for Sustainability in Sports TV by SVG Europe.
As the championship returned to South America for a second X Prix in succession, there were four teams still in with a shot of claiming title glory – reigning champions team RXR, team X44 Vida Carbon Racing, team ASXE, and team GMC Hummer EV. Uruguay ended in a shock win for Nasser Al Attiyah and Klara Andersson of ABT Cupra XE team, who’s finished ninth of 10 despite winning the final race of the season. The final standings were dramatic, with Lewis Hamilton’s X44 coming out on top in the final standings of season 2 by just two points
The success of Extreme E has resulted in Extreme E looking to continue into 2023, with a third season in the works. The series will return to destinations from season 2 – heading to Saudi Arabia (March ‘23), Italy (July ’23) and Chile (December ’23). Two new destinations have also been confirmed, with the race series landing in Scotland for the first time. The race in Scotland is booked for May, whilst the fourth race’s location has been teased as either Brazil or the USA, which will be taking place in September.
Extreme E series has been a real success story. NEP alongside Aurora and Extreme E were recognised at the SVG Sports TV Awards 2022 for its work on Extreme E Season 1. Winning Outstanding Production Achievement (Event), and One Planet Award for Sustainability in Sports TV.